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Will government clear the air about claims on Pulwama?

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on April 22, 2023 with No Comments

Former Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Governor and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Satya Pal Malik has one again troubled the ruling party after he claimed that he had apprised Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi of the alleged security lapses after the Pulwama attack in 2019, but was asked to “keep quiet.”   Malik was the Governor of J&K when an attack by terrorists claimed the lives of 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Pulawama just months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.  Malik claimed that that the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama was a result of “incompetence” of the CRPF and the Home Ministry at the time which was being helmed by Rajnath Singh. Malik claimed that the CRPF had asked for five choppers for the jawans to be transported but the same were not approved by the Union Home Ministry. He further claimed that after he raised the lapses in a conversation with PM Modi, who at the time was in Jim Corbett, he was allegedly asked to “keep quiet.” He said that National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval also called him as asked him to “not say anything on the issue.” “I immediately realised that the blame was going to be put Pakistan, so I should ‘stay quiet’,” he said.

Earlier too, former governor Satpal Malik is known to have expressed his opinion without bothering of its impact on the government and more so on the ruling BJP. He had hit out at the Narendra Modi-led central government over the issue of implementation and legal guarantee of a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers’ produce.   At that time, Satya Pal Malkin was the governor of Meghalaya. In 2021, he had said that said that the schemes for farmers have not seen the light of day due to business magnate Gautam Adani. He had cautioned the Narendra Modi government that India’s farmers can’t be defeated and will continue to protest till their demands are met. Malik’s observation proved right and it was Narendra Modi’s government that had to buckle in and withdraw the three controversial laws. He had made another remark that is now being raised by the opposition members on the misuse of authorities. Malik had said, “If MSP is not implemented and legal guarantee on MSP is not given, there will be another fight and this time it will be a fierce fight. You cannot defeat the farmer of this country. You cannot scare him since you cannot send ED or Income-Tax officers, how will you scare the farmer?”

Satya Pal Malik is known to raise issues that are difficult to handle for the ruling dispensation. It’s over a week, neither the Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor his National Security Advisor Ajit Doval have responded to the allegations. However,  BJP spokesperson Tom Vadakkan told the media that these were claims only to “hog TRPs and get attention.” Responding to the claims of PM Modi asking him to “keep quiet” after the Pulwama attack, Vadakkan said: “Does he has an evidence to establish that?” Vadakkan said that Satya Pal Malik is “trying to get the TRP, “ He is trying to get TRP and headlines since he lost his job after completing his term. The PM has been a complete gentleman in treating him well. Why was he quiet all these years? He had made such unsubstantiated claims even during the issue of farm laws,” Vadakkan added. The question is not why Satya Pal Malik remained silent all these years, but when will Prime Minister Narendra Modi will respond to the allegations and clear the air about the claims.  Pulwama massacre could have been averted had the CRPF jawans travelled to Srinagar by air rather than along a road that is always “vulnerable to attack”. A convoy consisting of  78 vehicles carrying over 2,500 personnel — shouldn’t have taken a highway that lies so close to the Pakistan border. Certainly the government needs to answer why were the CRPF personnel denied aircraft and why were the personnel exposed to a vulnerable attack.

The central government did have an intelligence input, the government needs to answer why did it ignore intelligence inputs ahead of the attack.  Why were 11 intelligence inputs, between 2 January, 2019 and 13 February, 2019 that had warned of a terror attack ignored? How could militants procured 300 kgs of RDX?

The Pulwama attack remains a mystery even after 4 years of it’s occurrence. The central government never initiated any enquiry. Now that a former Governor has raised few claims, won’t it be appropriate for the central government to come out clean.



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